Posts tagged hymns
In Memoriam: Brady Howell

I made a promise to myself, in memory of my friend Brady, that I would blog about him on September 11 every year. It's so hard to imagine that the world has been so long without his quick wit and winning smile. I 've missed a couple. But here is 2006, 2007, 2008

He was a great guy - one of those guys that is friends with everyone, and not a single person could find anything negative to say about him-except that maybe he laughed too loud, and was in on too many of the pranks (until he became Student Body President my senior year of high school).

He was my semi-distant relative: our great-grandfathers were brothers - his mom's maiden name is Bills and so is mine. We used to joke that we could never date because it'd be against the law. We still went out a few times, and hung out together with friends all the time.

He was a great singer. I remember at the mission farewell of a friend, that he and a group sang "Abide with Me, Tis Eventide" - all four parts, a capella. It was so gorgeous, and 20+ years later I still remember it.

At his own mission farewell (Elder Howell went to the Canary Islands - how unfair is that?), that the closing song he chose was, "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" and many times when I hear or play that song I think about Brady.

And mostly he was my friend. Mostly I will miss him, and the world is poorer that he is gone. 

And mostly I will never forget that he was murdered. 

Relatively speaking (say, a human lifetime), it has been a long time since the original September Eleventh. My kids weren't even born yet, and they are in 5th and 6th grade now. But in the scope of human experience we were attacked on our own soil like an hour ago. It'll be a day when the world changed for all of us - a true day of terror. A day that was the beginning of the war that still goes on, and might go on forever (who can say?).

Every single person who was alive that day and anywhere in America remembers that day. And I am posting in memory of my friend Brady, who was in his office, at his post in Naval Intelligence in the Pentagon, when the unimaginable happened. When his good and decent and influential and important life (just like the lives of all the victims) was suddenly snuffed out. 

Please take a second today in silence to remember the lives of all those - victims and families and rescuers - who are so deeply affected by this act of terror. It's important that we never, ever forget.

One for Sunday: The Hour I First Believed

I've been working on this little poster for a couple of days now, and I thought that today would be a good time to post it. :) This is one of my all-time favorite hymns, and these particular lines have special meaning.

I love the reminder that one of our most precious gifts is the Grace of Heaven. Even though various (Christian) faiths have differing definitions of what Grace really is and what exactly being saved means, I think this hymn resonates with all believers. It speaks the truth about the Atonement of Christ for our sins, that through the incomprehensible sacrifice He made, He extends his Grace to give each of us the chance to reach Heaven. This is the truth I remember every time I see or sing these words, from back in my own life in the hour I first believed, right down to this very hour, and it fills me with peace.

That hour, and this hour too. By Jessica Sprague.

That hour, and this hour too. By Jessica Sprague.

I hope this brightens your day! Please feel free to contact me if you would like the high-resolution file for printing in poster size.  

 I'm thinking about doing a series of lines from hymns in this same style. What do you think?





Wise Words Wednesday - Be Thou My Vision

I had SUCH a good response to yesterday’s post, so many emails and good thoughts, and me-toos, that I thought I would share this poster today. This song has been running through my head for a few weeks, and I’ve been slowly evolving this poster in bits and pieces, and I think it’s done. I wanted to share it with you for this week’s Wise Words post.

Here is the web-sized version (you can click to see it a bit larger):

The song is Be Thou My Vision, and it’s actually an Old Irish song thought to be from the 6th century. It is achingly beautiful in both Old Irish and in English. I wanted for the poster to reflect the majesty and grandeur of heaven, but also the soaring of our souls as we reflect on our personal relationship with God. I couldn’t decide which words to include, so my hope is that the large phrase can be read from several feet away, and then invite the reader to step closer to read the full text of the song at the bottom.

And speaking of the full text, my favorite line is the last one:

Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

You can read the

full text in both Old Irish and English, as well as some of the history of the song, over here at Wikipedia


The best recorded version I’ve ever heard is from a group called The Lower Lights, and you can find it here for a buck as an MP3. (Look at Track 4)

I have formatted the poster to fit an 11x14 print, which I have saved as a high-resolution JPEG and included in a ZIP file. Download, unzip, and send to your favorite printer. I would LOVE to see your finished product framed and hanging on the wall.


Click here to download the

Be Thou My Vision poster in 11x14


Please feel free to share this with friends and family, for any nonprofit and noncommercial use.